I’m no dog trainer but I’ve had my fair share of practice over the years. Here’s some tips that work for me and my dogs so we can all enjoy time outside together.
Having a pack makes sticking together easier. If you have 3 or more dogs, I’d say you have a pack. The pack mentality keeps the dogs together. My dogs and I are just a big family that support each other, rely on each other for safety, comfort, and emotional support. Dogs in a pack want to stay together, help train each other, and of course have fun together.
Dogs need to have one person they trust and respect. Everyone in the family can help out with chores but there needs to be one person feeding, walking, playing, and caring for the dogs on a regular basis. This will train the dogs to know who they can follow and know that they will be well taken care of and safe.
Be consistent and come up with a go to noise or phrase for when you want your dogs to come back. For me, “come on guys, let’s go!” and two claps is my go to for feeding time, cuddle time, any time I want my dogs to come to me. My positive reinforcement when the dogs listen is love and affection, I think this is the best “treat” of all.
Your energy is contagious. Dogs pick up on your emotions, they are very sensitive to energy. Your energy should be confident, especially when you are trying time outside with your dog off leash. Control your breath, relax, and be kind to yourself. Go somewhere you feel confident and try 5 min on the leash 10 min leash off. Be in an area you feel safe and can keep your composure.
I take my dogs to some pretty remote areas however, wildlife/other dogs are never really an issue. My biggest tip for how to handle other animals is think through everything ahead of time. Have a plan for every scenario, a plan for anything that could go wrong. The less surprised you are, the better. You can use your noise/call as a mechanism for scaring off wildlife. Even if your dogs are close by you can still yell “come on guys” to keep them close and scare other animals with the loud noises.
Be creative when you go out with your dogs. Things like fast walking, running, biking and skateboarding will help train your dogs to follow you.
Feel free to agree, disagree, and discuss this topic! Share with everyone your secret tricks for keeping your dogs together. Do you and your dogs like to go biking, running, swimming...? Love you all